Sunday, March 21, 2004

Ohio State holds off West Virginia, will play BC



The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Davenport scored 22 points and Caity Matter hit five free throws down the stretch to lead Ohio State to a 73-67 win over West Virginia on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The sixth-seeded Buckeyes (21-9) advanced to play Boston College Monday.

[img]
Ohio State's Michelle Munoz, a Mason grad, dives for the basketball in front of West Virginia's Janell Dunlap.
(AP photo)
Davenport hit 10 of 11 shots from the field, and the one miss could have been considered a deflected pass. She seldom went more than a step or two from the basket, helping the Buckeyes outscore West Virginia 46-16 in the paint.

Matter finished with 15 points, hitting five of six free throws in the final 1:47. Brandie Hoskins added 12 points and six assists and LaToya Turner had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kate Bulger, the Big East's top 3-point shooter, led the 11th-seeded Mountaineers (21-11) with 18 points, while little sister Meg Bulger and Sherell Sowho each had 14. Yolanda Paige chipped in with 13 points and seven assists.

St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, brother of Kate and Meg, was at the game, played on campus at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes' home court is Value City Arena, but it is hosting the girls state high school championships this week.

West Virginia had only two healthy players as tall as 6-foot-2, while Ohio State started a 6-5 center and a 6-3 power forward and brought players 6-1 and 6-0 off the bench.

After the Mountaineers tied the game at 47 with 14 minutes left, Davenport made two foul shots and then converted a short lob pass from Turner, sandwiched around a free throw by Hoskins.

Kate Bulger's 3-pointer from the left wing with 5:51 left cut the lead to 59-55, but Kim Wilburn made a 14-foot jumper, Hoskins followed with a left-handed drive and Wilburn scored in transition for a 65-55 lead with four minutes to go.

Matter then hit five of six free throws in the closing two minutes.

West Virginia was making its third NCAA appearance but first in 12 years. The Buckeyes are in their 13th NCAA Tournament and second in a row.

The Buckeyes, the nation's top field-goal percentage team, shot 50 percent for the game. They continually looked inside to Davenport and Turner in the second half. The shorter Mountaineers got into heavy foul trouble trying to hold off Ohio State inside and on the boards.

The Buckeyes have won eight of their last nine, the lone loss coming to No. 3 Purdue in the Big Ten semifinals last week.

Boston College 58, Eastern Michigan 56

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kathrin Ress made a backdoor layup with 12 seconds left and Boston College hung on to beat Eastern Michigan.

Third-seeded Boston College (26-6), the Big East Tournament champion, will meet Ohio State (21-9) in the second round.

With the score tied and only 15 seconds left, Ress took a pass and banked a shot off the backboard, the ball hesitating on the back of the iron for an instant before falling through.

After a timeout, 14th-seeded Eastern Michigan (22-8) - playing its first game in the NCAA Tournament - got the ball to Ryan Coleman with 4 seconds left. Her hurried 3-point shot from the top of the key at the buzzer was wide.

Ress led Boston College with 16 points, Amber Jacobs had 13, and Clare Droesch added 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Coleman scored 15 points and Melis Ulker had 12 before fouling out for Eastern Michigan, the Mid-American Conference Tournament champions.

Boston College broke out to a 22-4 lead in the opening 5:13, hitting its first nine shots including all four 3-point tries. The Eagles didn't miss a shot until Jessalyn Deveny misfired on a 3-pointer from the right corner at 14:16 mark. They followed that with a jumper by Brooke Queenan that pushed the lead to 20.

Jacobs made three shots from behind the arc during the early surge, and all five players scored.

BC led 34-24 at the half and expanded that to 42-29 in the opening 5 1/2 minutes.

Once again, Eastern Michigan roared back. A 10-0 run was capped by Coleman's two free throws with 4:49 left that cut the lead to 51-50. After Ress made a rebound follow, Eastern Michigan took the lead for the first time on baskets by Erika Ford and Coleman.

Deveny's 3-pointer with 3:02 left put BC ahead 56-54, with Nikki Knapp tying it with 40 seconds left on a short shot off an assist from Sarah VanMetre.

BC has won eight straight.




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PAGE TWO: GOOD SPORTS
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